against religious indoctrination in schools


Today is Mashujaa (Heroes) Day here at home. For those who do not know, this is the day, many years ago that the Colonial administration declared state of emergency in Kenya and began the arrests of those who claimed to be Mau Mau leaders and their sympathizers, The arrests began on the night of 19th October and proceeded for many days followed by trials of the leaders and the eventual jailing of some in Kapenguria and a draft of other measures. But that is not what this post is about.

In our primary and secondary schools, there is a subject on religious education indoctrination offered depending on your religious persuasion and the schools sponsor. So for example, schools that are sponsored by Muslims would offer Islamic religious education. But it is not education what they do. It should rightly be called indoctrination. It is taught as if those things in the Koran or the bible are really fact. In essence it is to make religious believers out of young impressionable minds.

And they are most often a captive audience with little opportunity for rebel. They can’t opt out without consequence. If you are unlucky and ended up in a school run by the catholics, they will try and make a catholic out of you, Mass is mandatory regardless of whether you are muslim or a believer in voo doo. It just doesn’t matter.

I argue here that it is not the role of educational institutions to indoctrinate our children. Whether children want to or not attend church cannot be made mandatory by school administration. Religious indoctrination does not prepare these young ones to be critical thinkers or good citizens. It only prepares them for church work or sheep. Mostly sheep. And this should be a private affair. If your parents are sheep, that is theirs, but children as impressionable as 4 year olds should only be taught that which can be known.

Schools should teach them social skills. Arithmetic. Science to the level of their understanding while all the time encouraging curiosity and critical thinking. If any philosophy is to be taught in schools, it should start at a level where they can now begin to process abstract concepts but only as preparation for being good citizens.

If you are of a different opinion, I would like to hear it.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

44 thoughts on “against religious indoctrination in schools

  1. Neil Rickert says:

    Before retirement, I used to indoctrinate them in the religion of mathematics.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jeannejam40 says:

    Here in the states we are supposed to not teach any religion in public schools but you must really keep an eye out! Because 80% of our population is Christian they are constantly preaching and their religion has a lot of weird stuff! Religions are in fact simply a way to control people. I just wish schools would teach critical thinking it would help protect children from indoctrination !

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Nan says:

    Well, you won’t hear from me because I am NOT of a different opinion!

    Well put, Maka. And sadly, all too true.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree. I’ve said for decades that religion belongs in the places of worship, NOT schools, places of work, or hospitals.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. basenjibrian says:

    Agree 100%, My only caveat is any educational system involves at least some indoctrination. I just don’t want it to be promulgating the cult of The Owner of All Infernal Names.

    Like

  6. Stop dreaming Makagutu! These religious revival movements are happening all over the world, even in those so-called political secularised countries like mine. Of course, it is more or less approved and financed by the cooperate world in cahoots with their religious affiliates. Both parties are interested to have easily manipulable mindless followers to make sure their side of the bargain is secured. The enlightening trend of the 1960th has surely been reversed!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Uncoffined says:

    In New Zealand, there is an hour set aside in most schools where a religious teacher comes in to teach religious studies

    Like

    • Uncoffined says:

      It is typically generally Christian and students can opt out, but this is very rare.
      It is not actually part of the schools curriculum.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Barry says:

      Schools are officially closed during religious studies as it is not permitted to teach religion in schools. They are permitted to close for a total of 25 hours per year for that purpose. I would dispute it occurs at most schools, and where it does it’s only in primary schools. I have no issue with children learning about a range of religions provided none of them are presented as being “true”.

      Liked by 1 person

    • maryplumbago says:

      I did t realize that New Zealand was that religious a country

      Like

      • Barry says:

        It isn’t. Only a third of the population identify as Christian. However the fewer who identify as Christian, the more effort the fundamentalists put into trying to “save” the population. Primary schools are permitted to provide up to 25 hours of religious studies per year, but outside of school hours. Secondary schools (high schools) can’t provide any.

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          That small majority gets loud enough, attains a critical mass and you will not recognise your country

          Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            It doesn’t matter how vocal it gets, it’ll never reach critical mass. The problem lies in the fact that the less critical its mass gets the more vocal it seems to become.

            Like

            • makagutu says:

              this is interesting. reminds me of some evangelical pastors I see here who have a loud PAS and are only addressing a handful of people. The smaller their congregation, the louder their speakers

              Liked by 1 person

              • Barry says:

                We’ve seen it all before – the decriminalisation of homosexual acts in the 1980s, civil unions (including same sex unions) and decriminalisation of prostitution on the 2000s, same sex marriages in the 2010s and now self identification of gender and a ban on conversion therapies in the 2020s. All things that the fundamentalists claimed would end civilisation as we know it and voices becoming more strident with each change. Yet here we are and nothing untoward has happened.

                Oh wait. A couple of major earthquakes, a volcano or two, sost severe storms since records began and now a pandemic. Events those those with too much imagination attribute to the wrath of their deities, but the rest of us know have more rational causes.

                Liked by 1 person

                • makagutu says:

                  I saw some preachers said Covid was punishment from their god but i am wondering why it didn’t discriminate

                  Like

                  • Ron says:

                    Have you not read? The good book informs us that Lord Genocide is no respecter of persons. That is to say, he shows no partiality.

                    “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

                    Like

                • Nan says:

                  HA! Barry … don’t give them ideas! They already find spiders in every crevice as it is! ๐Ÿฅด

                  Like

    • makagutu says:

      Here, students have no choice

      Like

  8. renudepride says:

    I’m aware that religion isn’t part of the curriculum in public schools but when Twin and I were in a residential secondary school for the Deaf, a priest was a member of the faculty for almost a full year. He was hired because of his proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL) and taught history. His and the catholic version, not the historical subject. He was soon discharged from the faculty. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Naked hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ron says:

    “I argue here that it is not the role of educational institutions to indoctrinate our children.”

    Then you are sadly mistaken, because that is its sole purpose. You are taught to: obey authority and don’t think for yourself; fit in and don’t make waves; do what you are told and don’t ask unsettling questions; and above all else, always sacrifice yourself unto others in deference to this mystical entity called “the public good”.

    Dumbing Us Down (PDF)
    The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
    by John Taylor Gatto

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxpaGVmaWxlczF8Z3g6NzdiMzQ5OWVkNTNlM2FmOA

    Liked by 1 person

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